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Rubber-backing on remotes eventually turning sticky?

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Rubber-backing on remotes eventually turning sticky?

Old 06-07-23, 12:02 AM
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Rubber-backing on remotes eventually turning sticky?

I've noticed that with older remotes where the back of the remote is made of rubber, become very sticky over time. When ever I use my Logitech HarmonyOne or Fios cable box remotes I'll always have to wash my hands after use due to them leaving a sticky, gluey residue on them. I've been covering the entire back of these remotes with duct tape. Anyone know why this happens & if there's a way to avoid it? I'm assuming this occurs due to the rubber deteriorating over time. Thanks!
Old 06-07-23, 12:44 AM
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Re: Rubber-backing on remotes eventually turning sticky?

I haven't noticed it on the back of remotes (I don't think I have any with a rubberized backing), but I've certainly seen it under the buttons. In that case it's due to a leaching of silicone oil.

AFAIK, there's nothing you can do to prevent it.
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Old 06-07-23, 07:04 AM
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Re: Rubber-backing on remotes eventually turning sticky?

All my remotes have had plastic cases since I've never needed something like a Harmony.
Old 06-07-23, 01:16 PM
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Re: Rubber-backing on remotes eventually turning sticky?

Yeah, it's the materials breaking down. It's either silicone oil leaching out, or some kind of coating they put on it breaking down.

It's a natural process and there's nothing environmentally (ie, temperature or humidity) you can do to prevent it. You might be able to clean it off to an extent -- you can probably do some googling to find fixes that will hopefully partially restore it.
Old 06-08-23, 08:41 PM
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Re: Rubber-backing on remotes eventually turning sticky?

In other words, complete and total planned obsolescence, to force you to buy new remotes and new products.
Old 06-09-23, 02:36 AM
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Re: Rubber-backing on remotes eventually turning sticky?

I've noticed this with a lot of products with a rubberized finish from my old MP3 player to USB sticks in which after time the surface just breaks-down and becomes gooey, sticky mess with black rubber bits coming-off on your hands.
Old 06-09-23, 06:47 AM
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Re: Rubber-backing on remotes eventually turning sticky?

Yeah, I notice that on a lot of electronics hardware these days. Mostly things from the past ten or so years.

My first Kindle (I think it was a fifth generation, but possibly a fourth gen) had a soft, rubbery back that became sticky and tacky within three or four years. And a couple of cheap $1 LED flashlights with a "soft finish" got nasty and gummy sitting in my desk drawer. And I have a Logitech mouse with soft, rubbery sides to grip that's in the process of breaking down. I stopped using it a while back because it was doing some weird shit to my computers, but I'm hanging onto it for a while to see how it decays.

And I also have an old DirecTV remote with a soft, black bottom that got tacky. That remote also slowly stopped working so after they sent me a new one I took the old one apart and PCB under the keys was dripping with clear oil, so that was definitely a case where silicone oil had leached from the keys and rendered the remote inoperable.

On a related note, stay the fuck away from "bonded leather" furniture. That shit will start to peel and flake off after three or four years.



I'm not sure if this is a new phenomena with "bonded leather," but everyone I know who has bought a chair or couch made of this crap within the last ten or fifteen years had them come apart like this. I don't remember any "leather" doing this pre-21st century. And it seems like most leather furniture is now "bonded leather." I was looking at home theater seating online a while back, and much of it made of this crap. So there are people out there dropping thousands of dollars on expensive home theater seating that's going to end up like this within a few years.

I only buy genuine leather when I get leather furniture so I don't have to deal with this crap, but I suspect that eventually it will all be this disposable crap.
Old 06-09-23, 07:29 AM
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Re: Rubber-backing on remotes eventually turning sticky?

My washing machine dial knobs almost look like they are made of putty now.
Old 06-09-23, 09:42 AM
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Re: Rubber-backing on remotes eventually turning sticky?

Originally Posted by zyzzle
In other words, complete and total planned obsolescence, to force you to buy new remotes and new products.
I have noticed that it's a current trend to put rubbery grips onto things like remotes and knobs and electronics devices.

I'm not sure if it's a part of the planned obsolescence that we hear so much about, or if it's some kind of fashion trend.

Like I said, I had a $1 flashlight I bought at Walmart that had some kind of coating on it that made it feel silky. After a few years it's sticky and feels like someone spilled a Coke on it. It's a fucking one dollar flashlight, so there's no real planned obsolescence there. Hell, when the batteries start to die in these things I take them out, throw them away, put the flashlight in a drawer, and just buy a new one for a dollar because it's cheaper to do that than actually replace the three AAA batteries in it. (They come with batteries.)

Found this with google image search for one dollar walmart flashlight and found the actual flashlight in question... even the same color!




Even in the photo, you can see the silky, matte finish on it.



Old 06-09-23, 12:01 PM
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Re: Rubber-backing on remotes eventually turning sticky?

It's a $1 flashlight. Even if it only lasts 6 months.

It's not like a Maglite.
Old 06-09-23, 06:55 PM
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Re: Rubber-backing on remotes eventually turning sticky?

So I was looking for a new MX-500 universal remote. Bought one almost new. Took it out of box all sticky residue. I bought a brand new one, same sticky residue. It fucking sucks. But you can get ride of residue and not ruin controller. Iíve tried it and it takes it off but itís a tough process. I have both ones still and just havenít had the urge to clean them thoroughly though. Iím still using one, but no degradation on it. But it is slowly dying.


Old 06-11-23, 09:15 PM
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Re: Rubber-backing on remotes eventually turning sticky?

Originally Posted by JZ1276
I've noticed that with older remotes where the back of the remote is made of rubber, become very sticky over time. When ever I use my Logitech HarmonyOne or Fios cable box remotes I'll always have to wash my hands after use due to them leaving a sticky, gluey residue on them. I've been covering the entire back of these remotes with duct tape. Anyone know why this happens & if there's a way to avoid it? I'm assuming this occurs due to the rubber deteriorating over time. Thanks!
We had this exact discussion recently: https://forum.dvdtalk.com/showthread.php?p=14242040
Old 06-16-23, 07:09 PM
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Re: Rubber-backing on remotes eventually turning sticky?

Originally Posted by Josh-da-man



Even in the photo, you can see the silky, matte finish on it.
I've got a couple of those, but I made completely sure to get the *metal* versions, which will hopefully outlast me. I think they were only $2.

So, spending $2 for a quality item that won't self-destruct vs $1 for an item you'll have to re-buy every year? Priceless.

It's planned destruction, if not planned obsolesence. These greedy companies know *exactly* what they're doing. Constant cheapening and using $0.01 of a cheap degradable plastic or rubber, when spending $0.05 on hard plastic, or $0.15 on metal would make their products LAST and circumvent the need to have customers re-buy, throw away, and increase the landfill mass.
Old 06-17-23, 04:02 AM
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Re: Rubber-backing on remotes eventually turning sticky?

Originally Posted by Josh-da-man
On a related note, stay the fuck away from "bonded leather" furniture. That shit will start to peel and flake off after three or four years.

Yup, same shit with my couches.
Old 06-21-23, 09:02 PM
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Re: Rubber-backing on remotes eventually turning sticky?

My OOMA Telo base was same issue only on the front of it. Got really bad and dust stuck to it and made it worse.
I ended up giving it a go on cleaning and if it ruined the base, no worries because it's like 12yrs old and newer models are available and I had planned on buying new one if I couldn't get it clean.
So what did I use.....? Clorox disinfecting wipes. I just scrubbed with a few of them and then after all that nasty sticky whatever it was, was gone, I wiped down with a baby wipe and damn thing is good as new!
Old 06-30-23, 09:36 PM
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Re: Rubber-backing on remotes eventually turning sticky?

This recently started happening with my Vizio Soundbar remote.

Luckily, a new replacement is only $9.
Old 07-06-23, 12:02 PM
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Re: Rubber-backing on remotes eventually turning sticky?

Yeah, removing the deteriorating rubberized coatings is a pain. It actually helps if they have really deteriorated nearly completely. In that case all you have to do is rub extremely hard with a cloth and it mostly comes off. Then just a light amount of Goo Gone and some more rubbing gets you down to the plastic layer. I have no idea why companies still use this ruberization process. I don’t think it helps anything and the breakdown is messy and inevitable.
Old 07-06-23, 12:46 PM
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Re: Rubber-backing on remotes eventually turning sticky?

Planned obsolescence. They want people to replace said item so they make it "fail" early.

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